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Screenwriting - A Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Coming up with movie idea and writing a script treatment are what I like to call the honeymoon phase of screenwriting. You’re excited with the newness of the story you want to tell. That newness slowly begins to fade as you prepare to dig in to write. If you’re a newcomer to screenwriting it’s like your first marriage. How do I make it through this?

Formatting Your Script

First off your movie script should look like a real movie script. If you can afford screenwriting software get it before you put one word to paper. All the formatting is done for you freeing up your mind to focus on writing a script instead of dealing with formatting issues. I currently use Final Draft 7 and love it. If you’re going to run a marathon you would buy cool running shoes. Same thing with writing a script. Get cool screenwriting software because writing a script is a marathon. Moving on from formatting.

There Is No Right Or Wrong Way To Work On Your Script

I like to work alone without a writing partner. If you’re going solo writing your script, prepare yourself for a lot of late nights inside your own head. No one will be there to brainstorm with or motivate you. If you do not see yourself as the self-motivated type look into finding a writing partner to work with. It’s like a marriage, so make sure it’s the right person or you’ll drive each other crazy. Remember it’s thin line between love and hate when writing.

Some screenwriters like to schedule a block of time each day to work on their script. Some lock themselves in a room weeks on end. There’s no right or wrong way to work on a script in my opinion as long as you are making progress and are happy with what’s being written on the page.

When I get into writing a script I can write 10 hours or more a day losing track of time. I don’t have a set writing schedule. I work hard when I feel the story flowing, pull back when I hit a block, and sometimes don’t touch the script for a few days. Your life situation will often dictate how you work on your script. I know writers that work on their scripts before going to work or after the kids have gone to bed. What you feel works best for you is the path to follow. Creativity can be found anywhere when you’re in the right frame of mind to write.

Hitting The Wall

Marathon runners sometimes experience fatigue where they feel like they can’t go any further. It’s called “hitting the wall.” Sometimes screenwriters experience “hitting the wall” on a mental level. The newness of the script has worn off. You’re feed up with your story, what you’ve written, and tired of looking at this script that never seems to be what you want it to be. Maybe you could have been more prepared before coming? Maybe there is something else you can do as a writer to save your relationship with your script? Or do you walk away?

Hopefully you found this article useful. If you want to read more about one filmmaker’s story making movies please pick up my new book. The First Movie Is The Toughest by Sid Kali is packed with no nonsense advice, help, and entertaining stories about making movies outside of Hollywood on limited budgets. This book is for aspiring Screenwriters, Directors, and Producers along with the casual movie viewer with their own great story idea for a movie. No hype. No bull.

Posted in Film, Film Maker, Film Making, Filmmaker, Filmmaking, Films, Movie, Movie Making, Movies, Screenwriting by KeyserSoze : May 16, 2009 - 5:00pm


The Art Of Editing A Movie

Editing a movie can be referred to as tailoring a movie. Just as people don’t want to wear ill-fitting clothes, similarly no viewer is ready to see an unedited movie. An unedited movie is not compact, brief or tight, so it does not lure the spectators. The art of editing a movie means arrangement of shots according to an understandable viewpoint so that the viewers can derive aesthetic pleasure.

In cinema, generally two techniques are followed, viz., mise-en-scene and montage. Mise-en-scene refers to the composition part of movie making or in other words, whatever is being shot with the single switch-on of the camera till the single switch-off of the camera. Whereas, the editing style and technique are known as montage.

Some years ago, editing a movie was a difficult as well as a lengthy task when the films were shot in celluloid. Edit actually means ‘cut’ and the editors sliced the unwanted strip from the master roll and used to paste all the perfect shots into one. However, a duplicate of the master, known as dupe print, is used for all the experimentation. The viewable celluloid is prepared through such a rigorous process.

This was the time of linear editing. However, computers have provided the scope of non-linear editing. It is generally known that when the movie is shot, it is  much more lengthily than what we actually see in the cinema hall. The unedited footage is known as ‘rush’.

All the unwanted and NG shots have to be edited from the film to give you the compact film. Therefore, it can be said that editing a movie is an art and the editors need to perfect the art with dedication and practice.

A good editor is able to play with the emotions of the viewers. While editing the shots, the sound which was ’synced’ or recorded with the shots like the ambiance noise, needs to be edited or else a re-recording of the sound is needed.

Here the editor gets the scope of creating artificial things. Some practice folly, where the object is actually thrown and then the sound is recorded. Editing is the post-production stage of movie making and since it is one of the vital stages, poor editing can mar a good movie.

Many people believe that a movie is made on the editing table, as everything from the effect of lightning and thunder to the squeaking of a mouse is available. Shots are built up, as not every shot is a key shot. While editing, the shots are arranged so that the weaker shots act as parasite to the stronger ones and sometimes editing hides the mistakes made in the production stage.

It can be said that the argument between the linear and non-linear editing is often subjective. Whatever  the type, editing a movie is not the selection of shots but the right collection of shots and presentable summary of the shots.

Victor Epand

Posted in Camera, Editing, Entertainment, Film, Film Making, Film School, Filmmaking, Films, Mise-en-scene, Movie, Movie Making, Movies, Post-production, Video by KeyserSoze : May 19, 2008 - 6:06pm


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